Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘immortal robot bodies

Friday Links!

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* ‘We Come from the Future’: a short piece on African SF.

* Zadie Smith says her next novel is SF.

As for her own next move, she says it will be a total departure: a science-fiction romp. She has been reading a lot of Ursula K Le Guin. ‘It’s a concept novel. It’s the only novel I’ve ever written that has a plot, which is thrilling. I don’t know if I can do it. Those books are incredibly hard to write.’

* Giant, oil-belching sinkhole dooms more than 100 homes in Louisiana.

* Valences of the IRS scandal.

* I believe this is explicitly against the law governing the CIA: Four Central Intelligence Agency officers were embedded with the New York Police Department in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, including one official who helped conduct surveillance operations in the United States, according to a newly disclosed C.I.A. inspector general’s report.

* A nation of temps: 15% of job growth since 2009, 40% or more in many urban areas.

Temp jobs accounted for whopping 116 percent of job growth in Memphis (that means that one sector added more jobs than all other industries together), 66 percent in Birmingham, 65 percent in Cincinnati, 58 percent in Hartford, 51 percent in Milwaukee, 46 percent in Kansas City, and 40 percent or more in Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

* The Expendables: How the Temps Who Power Corporate Giants Are Getting Crushed.

* ‘Black Babies Cost Less’: The Racial Realities of Adoption in America. Can’t help trying to pair this with the Baby Veronica nightmare still making its way back and forth through the courts.

* More nightmares: Worker Sues Employer For The Death Of Her Baby.

* End of an era at the Met.

* Obama at the door of no return.

* Cleveland State figures out inventive way to punish students it’s already failing.

Cleveland State University undergraduates will see a 2-percent tuition increase this fall but can get it back as a credit on the next year’s tuition through an innovative program approved Wednesday by university trustees.

Beginning in the fall, students who complete 30 course credits in an academic year in good standing can earn the rebate for the following year. Students also will receive $100 per semester in book credits.

Meritocracy! Catch the fever.

* The high cost of autism.

* Land of the God-Men: Inside the Wild Movement to Turn Us All into Immortal Cyborgs. I’m listening…

* “The Lottery” letters.

* And Rick Perry, wow. I mean wow.

During his remarks, the Texas governor also described Davis’ filibuster as “hijacking of the Democratic process” and said of the pro-choice movement, “the louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.”

Lucky for Me I Minored in Transporter Metaphysics

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Speaking of Star Trek, the Poli-Sci-Fi Radio podcast got deep into the weeds this week on Dollhouse, The Prestige, clone “immortality,” and how the transporter on Star Trek is a fax machine that shreds its input when it’s done with it. (Bill has more on his home blog.)

Having spent a good portion of my childhood working out the metaphysical implications of such technology, I myself was moved to comment. As someone with a well-documented and simply unhealthy fear of death, I must admit that the consciousness-as-Ship-of-Theseus direction these discussions invariably take is both the only possible solution to the problem as well as a clear ontological horror in its own right.

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m A Thousand and Four?

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A glowing WaPo profile of futurist Aubrey de Grey, who has personally assured me that I will never die.

Aubrey de Grey may be wrong but, evidence suggests, he’s not nuts. This is a no small assertion. De Grey argues that some people alive today will live in a robust and youthful fashion for 1,000 years.

In 2005, an authoritative publication offered $20,000 to any molecular biologist who could demonstrate that de Grey’s plan for treating aging as a disease — and curing it — was “so wrong that it was unworthy of learned debate.”

In the end, they decided no scientist had succeeded in blowing de Grey out of the water.

But it gets more interesting as de Grey gets more and more Utopian:

“Of course the world will be completely different in all manner of ways,” de Grey says of the next few decades. His speech is thick, fast and mellifluous, with a quality British accent.

“If we want to hit the high points, number one is, there will not be any frail elderly people. Which means we won’t be spending all this unbelievable amount of money keeping all those frail elderly people alive for like one extra year the way we do at the moment. That money will be available to spend on important things like, well, obviously, providing the health care to keep us that way, but that won’t be anything like so expensive. Secondly, just doing the things we can’t afford now, giving people proper education and not just when they’re kids, but also proper adult education and retraining and so on.

“Another thing that’s going to have to change completely is retirement. For the moment, when you retire, you retire forever. We’re sorry for old people because they’re going downhill. There will be no real moral or sociological requirement to do that. Sure, there is going to be a need for Social Security as a safety net just as there is now. But retirement will be a periodic thing. You’ll be a journalist for 40 years or whatever and then you’ll be sick of it and you’ll retire on your savings or on a state pension, depending on what the system is. So after 20 years, golf will have lost its novelty value, and you’ll want to do something else with your life. You’ll get more retraining and education, and go and be a rock star for 40 years, and then retire again and so on.”

Previously. Previously. Way way back.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 1, 2007 at 12:49 am

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This here longevity game says I’m going to live to 90, so let’s hope the immortal robot bodies come out before 2069.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 2, 2007 at 12:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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